Rio Hosts C40 Risk Assessment Workshop

Last week, global experts on climate change adaptation and resilience gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the first C40 Climate Change Risk Assessment Network workshop.  Representatives from 10 of the nearly 30 Network member cities – Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, New York City, Vancouver, Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg, Barcelona and Rome – spent three days together in a lively exchange of ideas, approaches and solutions.

98% of C40 cities report that the current or anticipated effects of climate change present significant risks to their cities.  As a result there is a pressing need for cities to exchange best practice understanding and prioritization of climate change risks to ensure their cities climate resilience.

The workshop was appropriately held in the Crisis Room of Rio's Center of Operations – the nerve center for monitoring and managing the conditions in the city, including impacts caused by climate hazards such as flooding and landslides.  The setting proved inspirational in highlighting how to use data effectively and coordinate across government departments.  

Chief Executive of Rio’s Center of Operations, Pedro Junquiera welcomed cities, saying:

“One characteristic of climate resilient cities is that they exchange knowledge and information, both between themselves and with their citizens. The Operations Center is very satisfied to host this meeting, and we will be pleased to host other like this and build on the exchanges made here and build on the exchanges made here in Rio's role as Lead City for the Network.”

Over the course of the workshop, participants discussed a range of topics, including: managing uncertainty; incorporating socio-economic information in climate change risk assessment; communicating climate risk to the community and across government; the relationship between climate change adaptation and broader resilience; and the C40 Climate Risk Assessment Framework and Tool (CRAFT). CRAFT will be an online reporting and adaptation-planning system allows cities to access the most relevant solutions, systems and resources.

Participants also took the opportunity to visit Rio’s redevelopment site at Porto Maravihilla and storm-water drainage tanks at Praça da Bandeira to explore how these sites are considering the implications of climate change in their design and construction.

As a result of the workshop, participants identified areas for future collaboration and engagement to advance the vital work of preparing cities for the impacts of climate change.